We are pleased to introduce today one of our childbirth instructors in College Station, TX. Cheryl is a busy mother of five who taught natural childbirth classes prior to her becoming a certified Birth Boot Camp instructor. We are so glad to have her join us! Her sweet passion and knowledge have helped make us a better company. Welcome Cheryl!
First, could you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about your own birth experiences and how they influenced your desire to teach childbirth classes.
Hi, my name is Cheryl Amelang, mama of five littles and married to my high school sweetheart. I have had 5 lovely home births with midwives. They were all amazing. Growing up, my mom always talked about birth like it was a normal, wonderful thing in a woman's life and something we were made to do. My husband and his siblings were all born at home so choosing a natural birth at home with a midwife was an easy decision for us. I never doubted my ability to give birth without medication. After the birth of our first son, I was so ecstatic about my experience that I wanted to shout it from the roof tops! I absolutely loved giving birth. That is when my passion for birth was sparked.
What first got you interested in childbirth?
After my first was born I wanted to share my birth story with everyone who was willing to listen! When I was pregnant with my third baby I read the book "Giving Birth" by Catherine Taylor and fell in love with the idea of becoming a doula, but with three small babies at home I knew that wasn't the time. It wasn't until I was pregnant with my fourth, and after a conversation with a friend who was pregnant with her first baby, that I considered teaching childbirth classes in College Station, TX.
What are your particular passions concerning birth?
I want women to be educated on the choices they have in childbirth. So many women get sucked into the "that's just what we do" model of care and don't even know that they have options! I want women to have a say in the way they birth, where they birth, and the kind of care they receive throughout it all. Different women have different needs and make different choices, and that's ok, but they should be educated and know why they made those choices.
There are lots of different childbirth educator training programs out there. Why did you choose Birth Boot Camp?
I actually certified with a different company and taught for 2 years before switching to Birth Boot Camp. I heard about BBC, thought it was interesting but was just fine teaching where I was. The more I looked into it, looked at the materials, and talked to different board members, I was sold. Birth Boot Camp is a complete curriculum. It includes topics that are important to me and I love sharing with my classes such as breastfeeding, newborn care, even things like baby wearing, sleeping arrangements, and cloth diapering. Information the other classes are missing. I really feel like my students leave my childbirth classes in College Station, feeling prepared for birth and taking care of their new baby.
Tell us a little about your Birth Boot Camp training experience. Where did you train? What did you like about it?
Training was so much fun! I trained in Houston last February with an amazing group of women from all over the country. When you are working on your certification and waiting for training you are put in a private Facebook group with other pre-certs so I felt like I knew some of the girls before we actually met at training. The days were long and jam-packed with information but Donna and Sarah were awesome at keeping things interesting and fun. We covered each class, how to teach them, demos and games for each, relaxations, and comfort measures. I truly left feeling prepared to teach childbirth classes.
How is teaching your own classes going for you? What do you enjoy most about it?
I have taught 3 series' since March and I am loving it! These classes are so much fun to teach. You really interact with the couples and get to know them. Probably my favorite part of class is the relaxation exercises. I love stepping back and watching the couples work together and learn what will work for them during their labor. It's a really sweet time. I'm always sad when the 10 weeks is over but that means their birth is soon and that's very exciting!
In what ways did the Birth Boot Camp teacher training help prepare you for teaching actual childbirth classes?
Donna and Sarah do a spectacular job preparing us to teach. I love that we do all of the reading, writing, and studying requirements before instructor training so we are all on the same page when we get there. That gives us time to really learn the materials during training.
Tell us a little about your students. How do you believe childbirth education is having a positive impact on them?
You can find me at www.darlingbirth.com and on Facebook at Darling Birth. I teach childbirth classes in Brenham and Bryan/College Station, TX.